This guest post is by Abhishek of Budding Geek.
Content scraping still haunts the entire blogosphere. No matter how hard you try to defend your creation, content thieves will always find a way to steal it!
It really feels terrible to find exact copies of your original work distributed all over the internet, often without any credit or link back to your blog as the source. The most frustrating part is when you find the copied content outranking your own blog in the search engines.
How can someone copy content from your blog?
Copycats can steal your content in a number of ways, but there are two key techniques:
- by directly copying text and images from your published post and re-publishing the content on the spammer’s blog (or splog!)
- by scraping your RSS feed. The truth is, this form of plagiarism is the most difficult to tackle.
Since plagiarism is impossible to obliterate, we need to safeguard our blogs from these vulnerabilities in such a way that it becomes at least extremely difficult for the content thief to plagiarize our content.
Protect your blog content
There are a few different ways you can protect your blog content.
1. Disable text selection on your blog
This is the first and most essential step to discourage direct copying of your content.
WordPress users can add this feature by installing the wpcopyprotect plugin.
2. Watermark your images
It’s important to watermark all the original images you’ve created for use on your blog. A watermark proves that you are the owner of the copyright to all those images. Moreover, watermarks discourage others from using your photos and illustrations on their blog, since they’d have your blog’s name all over theirs!
Although there are many watermarking utilities available on the internet, I generally prefer to use Windows Live Writer’s inbuilt watermark plugin. Note that if you’re using photos from any other outside source on the web (like Flickr or Picasa), it’s up to you to take a notice of their licenses before reusing them—otherwise you might find yourself guilty of ripping someone else’s content!
3. Manage your RSS feeds
A few months ago, I encountered a terrible content scraper who, I think, was using content scraping software and publishing my posts under several different permalinks. Sounds scary, right? This software basically scans your main content and republishes your posts with the main keywords replaced by synonyms. Isn’t that irritating?
These auto-publishing sploggers target the RSS feed of your blog, where they scrape your creation in just a matter of seconds! In order to stop such exploitation you should either allow partial/short RSS feeds (so that the scraping software doesn’t take all of your content) or add a custom feed signature with a copyright notice in the feed footer section of your blog, like this:
© 2012, All Rights Reserved ¦ yourblog.com
Note that, like a waternark on an image, this note won’t prevent your content from being taken—but when it’s reproduced on another site, readers will see that the content is being used illegally.
Users of the Blogger platform can add a custom feed signature by navigating to Other settings for your blog, then in the Site Feed section, add the following feed signature in the post feed footer:
<p> © copyright 2012 – All rights reserved </p>
<a href=”http://www.yourblogaddress.com“>Your Blog</a>
For the WordPress platform, I stumbled upon this excellent free plugin that adds a custom signature in the feed footer.
These tips can definitely help you to reduce plagiarism of your content. But what other techniques have you tried? Share them with us in the comments.
Abhishek is a part time blogger from Delhi who loves to write unique and interesting tech tips on a variety of topics like blogging, making money online, SEO, internet marketing and gadgets. Apart from that he is a die heart android fan and so don’t be surprised if you find loads of android tips on his budding blog!